Minimum food targets needed in the UK, says NFU
According to reports, the National Farmers Union has called for minimum food targets in the UK to prevent retail shortages.
The National Farmers Union (NFU) has called for action from the UK Government, stating it believes minimum food targets are necessary to prevents food shortages in the UK, the BBC reports.
Officials from the NFU reportedly claimed that without the suggested minimum food targets, there is a possibility of food shortages in supermarkets in the future.
The BBC has reported that, Colin Bower, Nottinghamshire NFU Chair, said: “We are not just going to pick up the phone and get food from elsewhere.”
Earlier in 2023, New Food reported on there being a shortage of numerous fresh food products in supermarkets across the UK, something Henry Dimbleby, former Advisor to the UK Government, said stemmed from a “weird supermarket culture”.
In fact, fruit and vegetable shortages had also been making headlines back in February 2023, with New Food reporting that two major UK supermarkets, Asda and Morrisons, had limited their sales of fruit and vegetables to manage an import shortage.
Hoping to make the UK more self sufficient with produce it sells, the BBC has highlighted that the NFU believed there were “challenges facing the industry”, with the NFU claiming that the UK produced 60 percent of food it needs.
As reported in the BBC, Bower went on to explain that the UK can’t simply “Pick up the phone and get food from anywhere”, as there are current world events such as the war in Ukraine have had an impact on supply of commodities such as grain.
“We need some commitment to growing food in this country so we are self-sufficient here. I know we need as cheap as food as possible, especially with the crisis we’ve got at the moment with the economy but we need that sustainable food going forwards and making sure the shelves are full,” continued Bower.
While the amount of agricultural growers in the UK has increased between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, Bowen’s comments suggest that the NFU believes there is still more to be done to allow to help support British farmers in producing enough food to allow the country to be less dependent on imports for its overall food supply.
New Food will keep its readers updated with any developments.